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Origins by Lynda Lehmann

"Just pick it up and stare through the eye at the face of the full moon."

Angie was skeptical. Having no real faith, she didn't particularity care for the supernatural or for tricks. She gingerly picked up the needle. A simple sewing needle with a large eye at the end. It glistened in the moonlight. Such a simple thing now took on a whole new meaning. A witch's trick. To see the other realm. The realm of ghosts. The realm where souls are trapped and have to walk in a state of …

“This is ridiculous,” she said. She didn't believe in ghosts. She didn't believe in the other side. As far as she was concerned there was only one side. This side. Shadows and ghosts were the aberration of a desperate mind. Desperate to be more than one was.

But for her friend's sake, who was trying too hard to get Angie to experience this side of darkness and shadows and open her mind...

“My mind is quite open and my intellect tells me this is nothing but a parlor trick.” Angie stared at the needle and thought, why not pacify her.

She lifted the needle carefully in her right hand positioning it between her thumb and index finger. She drew a breath and raised the needle to her now upturned face and placed it in front of her right eye peering through the eye of the needle.

Yes, there was the moon, bright and beautiful. She thought the face was laughing at her. She was laughing at herself.

She lingered longer than she planned - admiring the moon - but then lowered the needle and as her eyes started to adjust from staring at the bright moon, she saw wisps of light. She scanned her eyes back and forth and the wisps followed her gaze.

“Well, what do you see?” Her friend asked excitedly.

“I see reflections from the moon's light playing against my cornea creating an illusion of spirits. My eyes will adjust and the lights will fade and that's all.”

Angie's friend looked at her with a disappointed look, “Those were spirits. Admit it.”

“Come on Kate. This is just a trick to entertain. There is no 'other side.' Use that brain of yours. I saw reflections, that's all. Nothing more,” she started laughing at the absurdity of it all.

“The longer you look. The deeper you go. The more you'll see. I only took a glance, but you...” said Kate as a warning.

Her laughter quickly subsided. She only agreed to follow Kate into what she called 'The Woods' to make her friend happy. She went along with the game, as she considered it. She never expected the ominous tone of her friend's voice and what seemed like a threat.

In a huff, Kate grabbed the needle and left Angie standing there as she retreated back through the trees.

'The Woods' was actually an orchard and it was bathed in moonlight. Kate selected a circular clearing for the night's activities. The moon was particularly bright. Perhaps why Kate selected this night. At least Angie enjoyed the surroundings. She stood there thinking of the gullibility of her friend while admiring how the leaves to the treetops shimmered and danced in the moonlight. How rays of light striped the tree trunks and how she felt she was in a spotlight in the center of the clearing.

“Still no ghosts,” she shouted to her friend knowing her voice carried the distance.

She finally turned to follow her friend out of the grove when the light changed, darkening rapidly. The light seemed to lift up, like a pool of water rapidly ascending a well sucking all the air out with it, until it reached the tops of the trees. She was shrouded in darkness and the sounds – birds, bugs, creatures - were silent.

She looked to the moon. It was still laughing as it winked out.

It took her a short while to adjust her eyes to the darkness and her mind to the seemingly impossible disappearance of the moon. Finally getting her bearings, she could make out the trees that surrounded the clearing, but only blackness beyond.

The trees seemed to changed shape and size. Barely making out the tops of the trees against the sky, they seemed to have grown to a tremendous height. Only a glimmer of light danced across the tree tops.

She was afraid to move not knowing which direction she was going in. She was lost, not only in this place but also in her mind. She turned around and around but the darkness was too thick. She started to yell Kate's name, when...

a dark figure stickily pull away from inside a tree, moved in seemingly slow motion, then quickly melted into another tree. She blinked with confusion. It was faceless and darker than the darkness around it. It was no mere shadow. It had substance.

Her heart started to pound as fear welled up inside her. That was no ghost.

Without thought, she turned and ran. With her hands thrown up in front of her like a blind girl groping in the darkness. She felt the bark of trees. She scratched against bushes. She stumbled on stones. Finally she came to another clearing. It was a clearing in a grove of trees. The same clearing she started from. She furiously looked back and forth. Her reasoning mind couldn't make sense of it all.

“The longer you look. The deeper you go. The more you'll see.” Kate's voice echoed in her mind.

She closed her eyes. "Compose yourself, Angie," she said to herself. "This is all an illusion.”

She regained her composure and dared to open her eyes. What she saw was the same clearing with those trees. They seemed even more deformed. They had a twisted look to them now like a dark ancient forest. She turned, when...

a dark figure stickily pulled it's way out of a tree and in seemingly slow motion crossed to another tree and melted in.

“This can't be happening!”

She repeated her attempted escape leaving the clearing behind, only this time there was nothing: no trees, shrubs or stones to trip on. She was in a void. She ran and ran until she finally reached a clearing of trees.

The same. It was all the same except even darker and more forboding.

She felt she was on a spiral staircase with no way up and no bottom in sight. With each step she took it got darker and stranger. Taunted all the way by what could only be described as demons.

How do I get out!

A dark figure stickily pulled it's way out of a tree and in seemingly slow motion crossed - not to another tree - to her!

She rapidly backed up, aftraid to take her eyes off the horror that confronted her, when she slammed into a tree. The bark was sticky and wet and cold. She turned, then dark hands enveloped her. With a horrified look on her face, it pulled her through and down as the words ran through her mind...

“The longer you look. The deeper you go. The more you'll see.”

The End

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Karen Kaye Cecilia Bauder About the Author: KKC Bauder

Karen is a writer, an artist and the creator of Phoophie Tales and feels that creativity is fun, but sharing creativity is a blast! Her writing appears on Summerland's Illumation Project and you can see her art at: CAOS Cool Art On Stuff

Lynda Lehmann About the Artist: Lynda Lehmann

Even as a child, I reveled in the wonders of nature. As an adult, I realize that my love of beauty has inspired my life. I celebrate the 'ubiquitous beauties of the world' in my art. Much of my photography is realistic, while most of my painting is abstract. I am drawn to abstract subjects conveying ambiguity and mystery, more than to recognizable scenes. I savor the freedom and musicality of abstract work. And to me, it's more fun to see 'what isn't' than to see 'what is.'

Lynda Lehmann Painting and Photography

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